Internationally Engaged: A Symposium on International Research

Hosted by the Centre for Research on International Education 

Symposium Date: Friday, Feb.21, 2014

Location: SFU Burnaby campus

On February 21, The Center for Research on International Education (CRIE) successfully hosted its first event in the year of 2014. Entitled “Internationally engaged: A symposium on international research”, the Symposium attracted 12 presenters from 5 schools and faculties at SFU (Resource and Environment Management, Communication, Geography, Health Sciences, and Education), and one presenter from Department of Educational Studies, UBC. The first half of the event was devoted to small group discussions when presenters shared their research and inquiry around three themes, namely North to South conversation on power and development, global case studies and international research methodology, and Chinese transnational identities. More in-depth conversations continued during the second half of the event, when all presenters and audience came together to engage in an interactive session on the three topics.

As the first attempt of CRIE to engage graduate students and faculty members across disciplines at SFU, this Symposium showcased and highlighted research relating to internationalization in its diversity. All the presenters and audience witnessed the success of this event, and some expressed their appreciation of the Symposium and their hope for similar events to be hosted in the future by CRIE.

Excited to see “the similar commitments to social justice” emerging across disciplines, one faculty member commented that the Symposium made him “think of a wheel with many spokes that the institution is moving forward after all”. Three graduate presenters spoke highly of the organization of the whole event, the strategy of breaking into small groups, the amazing venue and wonderful dinner. They also offered suggestions on how to improve similar events in the future, hoping to see longer question and answer sessions in small group discussion to foster deeper explorations on individual topics. One presenter suggested that it would be great for rapporteurs to check with each presenter before they could report to larger group on his/her talk in the final wrap-ups. Also it is noted that wider participation could be achieved by inviting visiting scholars for example.

With the success of hosting the first cross-discipline event for graduate students, more possibilities are opening up for CRIE to organize events on various topics concerning international education for diverse university populations.